February Data is Now Live – Winter Olympics, Valentine’s Day, and more…

valentine's day flowers

Image from: Valentine’s Day Flowers / Shutterstock

March 21 Update: February 2014 data is now live for free users of Compete.com as well! To get priority early access to data each month, start your Compete PRO subscription today!

The weather’s finally warming up in Boston and February data is live and available in Compete PRO! Not only that, but we kicked off a contest for all Compete PRO users last week where you can share your success stories with us and win some awesome prizes. We can’t wait to see how Compete PRO has helped you!

Tax sites continue to dominate the Monthly Fast Movers list as we get deeper into tax season in the U.S. Heavyweights TurboTax and TaxACT remaining strong is no big surprise, but continued growth of smaller player FreeTaxUSA.com is something to watch as we progress through the season. Besides taxes, the 2014 Olympic Winter Games in Sochi were a big highlight in February for people around the world and Internet browsers in the U.S. were not an exception. Topping the Monthly Fast Movers list for February are two Olympics-focused sites, NBC’s hub for checking updates and events, NBCOlympics.com, and the official website put together by the organizing committee of the Olympics, Sochi2014.com. While the two websites have similar purposes in keeping users informed about the latest happenings at the Winter Olympics, there were also some interesting similarities in our data. The demographics for both websites skew pretty heavily male (nearly 60%) and under-index on all the lower age groups (44 and younger) while over-indexing on all the age groups above age 45. There is most likely overlap in both sites’ audiences, but what’s interesting is how consistent the demographic data is between the two sites, advertisers during the Olympics should have had no trouble defining their online market.

Also making appearances in the Monthly Fast movers for February are some popular gift-buying sites for Valentine’s Day. Berries.com saw their usual annual spike in February, but experienced a very impressive 156% year-over-year (YoY) growth in what seems to be heading towards a great trend for the website. Their usual, seasonal monthly spikes happen in December (around the holidays), in February (for Valentine’s Day), and in May (for Mother’s Day). Looking at trends over the last couple years, Berries.com is doing a fantastic job with YoY growth across all three of those key months and we should be able to further validate this trend in May this year. At the same time, average stay on the website as well as pages per visit have been decreasing over the last two years, leading me to believe that they’ve been making improvements with site navigation and personalization so that consumers can find what they need faster without scouring the site.

Another interesting addition to February’s Monthly Fast Movers include two health-related websites, DailyRx.com and HealthGuru.com. With cold and flu season in full swing in the United States in February, it’s no surprise that consumers were looking for health information, but what is surprising is the YoY decrease for DailyRx.com. Their web traffic usually peaks in February, and while they saw MoM growth of well over 250%, the site actually shrank YoY by 35%. The same can’t be said for HealthGuru.com who saw a more modest MoM increase of 100%, but a huge YoY jump of 981%. While the rise in unique visitors is encouraging, HealthGuru.com should keep an eye on engagement; between their average stay peak in October and now, they’ve seen a drop in average stay of about 5 minutes.

Monthly Fast Movers February 2014

In this month’s Yearly Fast Movers, Thought Catalog makes an interesting appearance. They’ve been growing steadily month-over-month (MoM) since last October and have finally surpassed the three million unique visitor mark. It also seems like their users are reading more articles than ever before with page views following a similar suit, seeing a YoY increase of a whopping 652%. Social networking sites have always played a large role in the growth of ThoughtCatalog.com, and that importance is still apparent, incoming traffic referrals from our Social Networking category (which account for nearly 55% of total visits) increased by 16.5% MoM. Please note that much of the year-over-year growth for TheGuardian.com is due to the newspaper moving domains from Guardian.co.uk to theGuardian.com on July 30, 2013.

Yearly Fast Movers February 2014

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About Conor O'Mahony:
Conor is VP of Products, Compete Intelligence Solutions. He has led product teams in organizations of all sizes, from startups to multinationals, across multiple industries. Professional experience includes leadership roles in product marketing, product management, development, and communications. Conor is based in Boston and can be found on Twitter at @conor_omahony.